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How to Make a Blog Post Go Viral

How to Make a Blog Post Go Viral

Writing blog posts are a beneficial way for a single person, business, or organization to gain exposure. Usually there is a certain goal in mind when choosing to start blogging, such as raising awareness, generating sales, or becoming a branding platform. Consistent, unique, and informative blog posts can help with accomplishing those goals when done the right way.

Getting your blog post to go viral is not always possible, but there are some general guidelines that can help increase your chances. Blogs have become as important to the Internet as any other information gathering platform online. While it’s true that blogs are a beneficial resource, some are wondering, “How do I cull an audience and ensure people are reading my posts?” After all, who wants to write for an empty room?

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So the question is, “How do I make my blog go viral?” That’s a good question, and I’ve got some good answers.

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Consider This Question Before You Even Begin Writing

Is the blog topic I’m choosing viral worthy?

  • Choosing a viral worthy blog topic means choosing a topic that isn’t covered too frequently. There’s a slim chance a blog post will go viral if it’s only filled with information that’s been seen numerous times. If you do decide to cover a popular topic, it’s your job to make it fresh for your readers. Otherwise, why would they read your blog when there are 10 more posts just like it? Take the topic and show it in a light it has never been shown in before. This could be tricky if you’re writing for a niche audience, but doing the proper research or performing case studies could help make your post unique. Research will aid in providing you with useful content, such as statistics. It’s a good idea to include a piece of that research in the title. A shocking statistic will get your audience to open the post, and the content will make them want to share it.
  • Do it Better: If your topic is well-known and widely written about, find a hole in the available information and fill it. Finding the most shared content is easy with sites like BuzzSumo.com and Ahrefs.com’s content explorer.
  • Be Relatable: It is important for your readers to feel as though you understand them and the topic. This audience is following your blog for a reason. Make sure you’re staying true to why they started following you in the first place. For example, if your blog is about technology, stay up to date with the latest technology news and information, but also share your opinions and encourage them to share theirs. Honesty and transparency will make your readers feel connected, and they will return because of that connection. Assuming some of the people in the readers’ lives may have similar interests and feelings, they could then share with them.

This may seem obvious, but not everyone is doing it. If they were, every blog would be viral. This first question is worth considering. Without fresh, useful information and a connected audience, your blog will not be successful for long.

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Consider These Questions When Publishing the Blog Post

Are you sharing and promoting your blog properly?

  • If you, your business, or organization has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other forms of social media, you should share the blog on those outlets. The followers you have on those outlets are a good start for the blog’s exposure. Once you’ve got a captive audience, you only need to put out great content in order to go viral—easy right?
  • If your blog post has high resolution photos, which it definitely should, it’s important to make sure they’re compatible with the social media outlets you decide to use. Examples include Instagram and Pinterest. Try to use one of the main photos from your blog on Instagram and then place the link in the caption. When it comes to Pinterest, make sure the photo you choose is visually pleasing. Pinterest is most popular for image viewing. If the image is attractive, users will be more likely to click on the photo that leads to the blog post.
  • Twitter is another outlet to be thinking about. With a limited amount of characters allowed, you want to be smart about what you choose to write in front of the blog link. A good idea is to grab an interesting quote from the blog post that will be intriguing for your followers. A little sneak peak of what the blog has to offer could help attract your followers, who could possibly even retweet it. Using a hashtag that relates to the topic is also helpful. People who typically view that hashtag for updates on that topic will have better access to it.
  • Share your posts with your network. Whether they are fellow bloggers, your mentor, or your kids, if what you have to offer is beneficial to them or their network they will be happy to share it. Remember to return the favor. Good sharing karma is important. You can’t expect your network to share and endorse your work without reciprocation.
  • Reach out to relevant organizations or businesses that may relate to your post. An email pitch introducing yourself and why your post is relevant for their followers could encourage them to share it on their social media accounts. You can even give them a mention in the blog post before reaching out to them.

Is your blog SEO friendly?

  • If people are purposely going to a search engine to learn about the topic your blog is written about, you want to make sure that your blog has a chance of being seen. Be sure to use headings. Headings help to inform Google of the main topic of the post. Subheadings are beneficial for the readers. They allow readers to skim the blog post and choose which sections interest them most.
  • Do some keyword research. Using specific keywords that have high search volume within your blog post will help your blog appear when those keywords are searched. There are a number of keyword research tools that can help. Google’s Keyword Planner is one of the most popular and easy to use.  Knowing which keywords readers are searching for will help to shape your content, header tags, and title tags. Your blog won’t be going viral if it can’t be found. Further SEO consultation could help to ensure your blogs are always SEO friendly.

When writing a blog post that you hope will go viral, consider asking yourself the questions above. Depending on the quality of the post, it could go viral without having to use everything listed, but try including everything for the best results. You might as well give all these ideas a shot. You never know, maybe something you create will eventually be seen by millions. If and when it reaches that point, it’s in your best interest to follow some guidelines. The site Always Found states the most important guidelines are “be ready, stay on brand, and take context into account.” These guidelines can apply to both attempted viral marketing and unexpected viral marketing. Either way, it’s important to take advantage of the moment.

Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/ via pexels.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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